A chip, in floating down a stream,Indulged a gratifying dream:"All things on earth but only IAre bound by stern necessity-"Are moved this way or that, their courseDetermined by some outer force."The helpless boughs upon the treesConfess the suasion of the breeze."The stone where it was placed remainsTill loosened by the frost or rains."The animals go here and thereAs circumstances may declare."The influence they cannot seeIs clearly visible to me."Yet all belive they're governed stillBy nothing but their solemn will."Deluded fools! I-I aloneObey no forces but my own."Without or sail or oar, I glideAt pleasure to the ocean's tide."No pow'r shall stay me till I laveMy body in the salt sea wave.Just then an eddy's gentle strengthBy hardly half a finger's length,His chipship drew aside. Said he;"'Tis far indeed to reach the sea."Now more and more, behold him swerveAlong the eddy's outer curve.He says: "My joy in swimming's o'erI'm half inclined to go ashore."As still he sweeps his arc,He adds: "The day is growing dark,"But still there's time to reach, no doubt,The point for which I first set out."The circle was completed quite."Right here," he said. "I'll pass the night."Nor ever once that chip suspectedThat ought but he his course deflected.Free-will, O mortals, is a dream:Ye all are ships upon a stream.
2009 Update: The iron shackling each to his or her own failures, felonies and follies.
Is my ball-and-chain that obvious?!? (earworm from Les Misérables: "Work Song".
FREE WILL, n. Pro bono estate planning.
Failure, fear, felonies, follies, iron shackles, panic, tragedies. ...
Good lord. Will it never end?
Free-will means to let your will free.
I don't know about free-will except in religion. Nevertheless and excepting for that religious doctrine I don't care because I am my own free-spirit.
A note to Doug. In the next to last line of your poem,
"Nor ever once that chip suspected,"
did you mean 'that chap suspected?'
I've searched quite a bit, the closest I could come (if you meant the word as listed) and wanted to use that word, then it means chip, a worthless piece of wood.
Concluding then it would be chip, an allegorical usage for a worthless, drifting with the flow fellow, and not a 'free-willed' person. Thus it is fitting just fine after all.
I like your poem, for me it is about the best of yours I've seen here lately.
I Googled some of the lines, you are the only reference that comes up--good work, Doug!
I guess that a will is when you give everything you have away for free.
Save the dolphins! Free Willy! Now!
grulef: just for laughs
No, "I am the captain of my fate" here today.
Whitman would be crushed.
Amoeba, I don't think I'd heard that. But I was traumatized trying to read the unabridged version. Look down! Look down!
Good wish, Karen.
That's a particularly vampirish perspective, Ariel.
Amen, brother Jim. The poem is, of course, Ambrose Bierce's. I think you got the sense right and I agree about the quality.
That's it, Icy.
K, nobody is freer than Willie.
Lutheran, Logo, but close enough.
Price sounds good to me.
Failure - one of the fews things free will allows any of us to actually own.
btw - my name is willie and I am free.
that is, until the mortgage becomes due, the taxes are past due and the wife calls me to bed.
Free will? You mean they've rescinded death taxes?
free-will - The behavior that prevents you from getting a free lunch.
We don't get to chose our race, our nationality, our sex, our parents. Otherwise, we have total free will. Unless you count talent and IQ. And good looks. But other than that, we get to choose what we are and can do. Well, there's the random drunk driver who kills you in the legal crosswalk you chose to walk in, but other than that...
I chose to type "chose" for "choose" in the first sentence.
then there is also
will of god
will of the state
etc etc etc etc
for the most part
in all camps...
as for me
i say a
just as i did,willing
enter this site
i now shall exit
word verf..nonstil--busted by feds
I kind of like this poetic venture into the philosophical and it mirrors you quite well. All I know about free will I learned from Dennett.
If not for those who think there is such a thing as free will, we'd have no one to blame.
Apparently you choose not to post the Saturday story. Hrmpf. That's free-will taken to the extreme.
Nessa, I like that.
And amen, Sauerkraut. What's ours is ours.
Great line, Quilly. Nope.
And which calls us to keep looking for one, Poobah.
Sure, TLP. I suppose we're free to choose whether or not it's a tragedy when we get run over.
Bear, here's to today's misdemeanor.
Cooper, I didn't write the poem, but I typed it. I suppose in that way it reflects me.
TLP, my internet chose not work this morning. Looks to be out until tomorrow afternoon. But I chose to go to Starbucks for the wireless so I could post and prevent you from getting grumpy.
Post a Comment